Woking Up

Ever since the Salvation Army saved my life in 1975, I’ve sent a check to them yearly. Then several years ago I saw Larry bell-ringing at Fareway. I volunteered to help. I’ve witnessed shy migrants who later became assimilated enough to grin while teaching their kids to put money in the kettle. Others who obviously could use a little help themselves, stuffed bills in the kettle as well.

I tell a short version of my story to whomever will stop and listen. One damp and cold logger with nowhere to go, fed and sheltered by people like you.

Then one night this November I received an email with a link to a Newsweek article about the new “Let’s Talk About Race” program for volunteers and donors to the Salvation Army. They wanted me to apologize for being white. Seriously.

In the comments section of the Newsweek article online, donors lined up to declare they would never donate again after years of dedicated support. They had been sending monthly checks. Wealthy conservatives were rightfully offended at being branded racists. I was too. And in this era where being offended is as commonplace as eating, I’m actually embarrassed to say I was as well. But who are these people who claim to know me, but don’t?

Look at the most destructive movements all through the past. They are all built on disavowing the existence of individuals. All this in a drive for a noble cause.

But if you look at the progress of civilization every product or service ultimately has been produced by individuals, not masses of people called “white” or “Republican” or “African-American.” Thomas Edison and George Washington Carver were individuals, not blobs of ethnicities.

If I mention examples of mass movements that have wrought misery over the centuries, then people who have other things to do than study details will jump to conclusions. So you pick a disastrous period in history yourself and make up your own mind.

Was the Salvation Army right in declaring each of us only a molecule in a mass of humanity? Or do you treat others as equals deserving respect in the same way you expect it? Should our individuality be sacrificed or violated for a “common good” deemed important by some distant elite?

The Salvation Army’s press release retracting their racist accusations seemed worded to only retain volunteers and donors, not as a repudiation of an evil philosophy.

Nationwide, donations are reported to be down considerably. I doubt that is entirely because of this woke controversy, even though the biggest donors are the targets of this slander. On one hand, people recognize that there are more people hurting as real wages have not kept pace with living costs. Donations from those who can afford it have undoubtedly increased. But most people have seen virtual pay cuts as the federal government has flooded the economy with new dollars.

I have faith that the dollars we give today will be used in a fair and efficient manner, not only helping, but also producing the gratitude that is a basis for a civilized society. But this takeover by a delusional hierarchy will shift money away from one of the most legendary charities and eventually put more of a burden on government services. Anyone who sees that as a move in the right direction should contact me directly to talk about it. (641)-425-4929

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